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7 Best Linkedin Automation Tools for 2020

Sia Mohajer
Last updated: Aug 27, 2020

Digital marketers are increasingly moving to LinkedIn for their campaigns, using an automation tool to line up & generate leads into a convenient ‘sales’ funnel.

Considering it has the world’s largest professional network, it’s a hotspot B2B platform…

An automation tool can intelligently help you build a business network. This can be achieved much faster than non-automatedly: make connections faster, run social influencer outreach campaigns, publish the right content at the right time to the right audience.

Digital Marketing logo explanation

Access more than 660 million professionals from over 200 countries. Build brand awareness, establish partnerships, grow your business – LinkedIn is suitable for all of these objectives.

Best LinkedIn Automation Tools


We sifted through the most trusted data for each provider, to bring you a summary of each client’s strengths/weaknesses including assessing the best free LinkedIn automation tool.

Each is aimed at a wide swath of the demographic, including jobseekers to companies looking for new employees and brand builders/partner seekers.

Avoiding Bans: Using any of these apps to spam puts your account at risk, as these tools already edge the TOCs for LinkedIn accounts (so use ethically). Nevertheless, all are used daily by LinkedIn users, particularly those in business development and recruitment… As for certainly banned tools, have a look at this list which is roughly two years old.

#1 LinkedIn Helper


Specifications:

  • Automate Tasks Like Messaging
  • Integrates With LinkedIn Automations
  • Endorse Contacts Automatically
  • Personalized Communications
  • Automatically Add Message Signatures
  • Build Smart Lead Funnels

Pros:

  • Minimum Effort
  • Quickly Get Reciprocal Endorsements
  • Use 24/7, 365

Cons:

  • No Emoji Support
  • Contact Gathering Can Glitch

Conecting on LinkedIn

Our Verdict

5/5: Program various actions with this automation tool. This includes messages, following leads, and sending personalized connection requests.

Trial: 14 days (free)

Starting: $15/mo

Best Features ✅

One of the most powerful LinkedIn automation tools to automate redundant or repetitive tasks such as messaging, inviting, joining and connecting, saving an immense amount of time with outreach.

This is a simple Chrome extension as well as a desktop application, which lets you automate according to segments (you can build email lists using this tool).

Invite connections (300 words max) according to segments, assigned as specific automations per target audience/list, eg. financial advisors, the date of your campaign, etc. You’re able to send a welcome message, such as “thank you for connecting”, which will go out to everybody on the list with a single click.

If you are using Sales Navigator, which on average gives you five times more chance of connecting with decision-maker profiles – LinkedIn Helper has integrations. Send hello messages to first connections, and then a second followup message with your sales proposal.

Drawbacks ❌

Not so great for multitasking: set your browser window to ‘minimized’ and the software will stop running (if you’re the kind with several browsers open at once, this will not be optimal).

Linkedin advertising pros and cons

The layout could also be improved somewhat and gathering contacts can glitch out, which is annoying when you’re trying to run a marketing campaign!

Lastly, though this is more a matter of due ethical diligence, you may put your account at risk if you do not carefully strategize. If you are suspected of spamming people using this tool, your account could possibly be flagged.

#2 LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms


Specifications:

  • Add to Sponsored Content/InMail
  • Increase Lead Volume / Quality
  • Up to 2-3x Conversions
  • Accurate Analytics for ROI
  • Promote Diverse Content
  • Target by Industry

Pros:

  • Native to LinkedIn
  • Integrated Social Media Tool
  • Pre-Populated: Just Hit “Submit”

Cons:

  • Quite Expensive

Linkedin lead gen forms

Our Verdict

4.5/5: On average, Lead Gen Forms reduce the average cost per lead by 20%. Gather data including emails, job titles, qualifications, and so on as part of Sponsored/InMail content with a single click on the target audience’s part.

Trial: N/A. 

Starting: Only pay for campaigns. 

Best Features ✅

Among the best for Sponsored tracking functions: lets you track the cost per lead in your campaigns, how many leads gathered per campaign, and form submission rates.

Unlike third-party clients or Facebook, Lead Gen Forms are native to LinkedIn and so have access to the entire CV of each user with an account. This gives the tool the edge with regards to targeting specific professional identities such as professions, field of study, where they work – so on.

LinkedIn is also unusual because many users often use their business email when creating an account. The data you acquire will be high in quality, for email marketing: one of the best LinkedIn automation tools

Drawbacks ❌

That said, to be ultra specific about the career of your target audience, Facebook may have better reach. For instance, target people with the same connections as one or more pages, income, other metrics.

The New York Times estimates people spend on average 45mins/day on Facebook, while only 2/day on LinkedIn. This gives you less opportunities to connect with paid campaigns.

On Facebook, you also get the option to test multiple ad campaign types, in order to A/B test which ones perform the best. For instance, on FB Lead Form can be linked to a carousel, a video and promoted post ad.

#3 Leonard (Now MeetAlfred)


Specifications:

  • Connection Request Automations
  • Auto-Message 1st Connections
  • Auto-View Profiles
  • Real-Time Analytics
  • Run Email List Campaigns
  • Personalised Auto-Messages

Pros:

  • Send Notifications or Messages
  • Hundreds of Messages in Minutes
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • Possibly Only Accepts Visa
  • One User Per Subscription

Meet Leonard banner

Our Verdict

4.5/5: MeetAlfred (once called ‘Leonard’) is a campaign manager that lets you run message sequences; with detailed analytics, access your connections’ detailed data, with team management options.

Trial: 14 days free

Starting: $9.99/mo

Best Features ✅

This is your answer to no more cold calling, even to transcending the need for face to face networking events. While you sleep, Alfred’s campaign manager (need a popup? OptinMonster review) runs scheduled message sequences separated into segments.

Use custom snippets in personalized messages – the Smart Reply Detection feature lets you set actions based on behaviors. For instance, if a conversation is already taking place with a connection, Alfred will automatically detect this and stop any campaign sequence.

This prevents inappropriate messages being delivered. Inside of the dashboard, you can also see who replied, the conversation history, and place them back into the sequence whenever as many times as you like.

Lastly, market responsibly by setting specific requirements for Alfred’s daily activities. This is measured by default, as the tool can identify what kind of LinkedIn membership you have.

You can also set exact days and hours that you want the tool to function and to not function on. Typically, Monday through Thursday, 8am to 9pm are the marketing hotspot hours.

Drawbacks ❌

A useful tool but, as we mentionedWith LinkedIn helper, be careful to not spam, as there may be some negative bias from LinkedIn towards third-party LinkedIn automation tools.

Regardless, their likes are used daily by high-performing users and it may be unlikely that you will be blocked without some kind of cessation warning beforehand.

The last time we checked, it was only possible to set up an account if you have a Mastercard or American Express card. Also, only one LinkedIn profile can be managed per account, which can get pricey if you have numerous social media profiles.

#4 LeadFuze


Specifications:

  • 500 Lead Credits
  • Unlimited Lists
  • Account Based Searches
  • Market Based Searches
  • CSV Export
  • LinkedIn Integrations

Pros:

  • Prospect New Leads
  • Same Features All Plans
  • Thorough Knowledge Base

Cons:

  • Educational ‘Strategy Videos’ Gone
  • Search Filter Moderately Specific

Leadfuze used to conect

Our Verdict

4.5/5: LeadFuze is a search engine for connecting with business professionals & acquiring contact details. Sellers can find new leads, recruiters new talent, and marketers can run targeted ads.

Trial: 25 lead credits 

Starting: $132.30/mo

Best Features ✅

Despite its capabilities, LeadFuse interface is simple, allowing B2B targeting using AdWords. For instance, target prospects who are already spending a certain amount of money on paid ads (which gives you a good idea of their spending budget before you even connect).

There’s also a “technology used” filter. Using this you could, for example, target those not using WordPress and adjust your web design pitch more appropriately, or only those who are using it.

There is also a semi-automation or quarantine feature that allows you to target 100 new leads based on your set criterias. Once you run the mid-stage outreach, you can then scan over the list and make sure it looks okay before dropping them into your fully automated campaign list.

Drawbacks ❌

From time to time you may get glitches where results are not in the industry or geography you filtered for, in which case using the semi-automation feature may be wise as standard practice.

There are also a few question marks around the lead quality in some areas of the business category. Though this is not unique to LeadFuze, but because of the higher price it is a little disappointing.

Searching can be a little slow, and you may overall want to test this out for a trial period before committing, to ensure you are generating enough leads to warrant the price point. And a last-last, we’d like to see them bring back educational videos on strategy & campaign building – nevertheless, it ranks high among LinkedIn automation tools.

#5 Crystal


Specifications:

  • Personality Type Insights
  • Personality AI Advisor
  • Next Steps Instructions
  • 80% Accuracy Claim
  • Write Better Copy/Emails
  • Advises on Likes/Avoids

Pros:

  • Automatic Analyses
  • No Questionnaire Required
  • World’s #1 Personality AI

Cons:

  • Only 10 Free Profiles
  • DISC Data Biased by Untruths

Crystal Communications Logo

Our Verdict

4/5: The Crystal Linkedin automation software uses personality insights based on the ‘DISC’ personality model, to guide your approach when connecting with decision-makers.

Trial: 10 free reports

Starting: $19/mo

Best Features ✅

Crystal uses Personality AI in order to generate a profile for a target based on behavior patterns, text analyses, assessment reports, and other data points.

Use this to communicate optimally with the prospect, building stronger relationships and better decision-making predictions. View a personality report simply by opening a LinkedIn profile. Alternatively, invite to take a personality assessment using the tool.

Crystal comunication

[Personality AI advice example.]

The advice is personalized to your situation, aimed at helping you to write persuasive copy. You’ll also be able to see what Crystal comes up with for their personality type (eg. ‘Motivator I’), likes and avoids. It also places them somewhere in the spectrum of dominant, influential, steady or conscientious.

Drawbacks ❌

People don’t always put up the truth on their profiles, so this likely biases Crystal towards inaccurate conclusions.

If you want to go for the free plan, you’d only get to analyze 10 Prospects per month. Any more required to pay for the premium version. Not the best free LinkedIn automation tool.

At times, you may find yourself scratching your head as to exactly where the information derived originated from. This may be a general feature of AI, where even programmers responsible cannot derive exactly how the program came to its conclusion.

#6 Prospect.Io


Specifications:

  • Automate Repetitive Tasks
  • Email Finder
  • Build Lists & Sequences
  • Multichannel Campaigns (Social, Emails…)
  • Deep Analytics
  • Set Campaign Targets

Pros:

  • Integrates with Many Tools
  • Single Click Prospect! Button
  • Integration with LinkedIn Easy

Cons:

  • Not Automatically Integrated
  • Pricey

Prospect.io logo

Our Verdict

3.5/5: Just press on a profile and contact details are imported into your library of choice, from which point you can use prospect.io’s marketing functions to convert connections.

Trial: 30 days (money back)

Starting: $79/mo

Best Features ✅

Strong among LinkedIn automation tools for productivity: get contact details (profession, email, LinkedIn URL, name – so on) imported into your library at a single click of a profile.

The Email Finder uses special algorithms to find anyone’s emails in seconds, and prospect.io is readily integrated with Gmail/Outlook, Salesforce, HubSpot, Slack – among others. The visual interface lets you automate redundant sales tasks, so you can spend more time doing the higher level things.

Prospect.io reviews

Prospects can be added to your automation lists when you add them manually or after they trigger an event in your account under preordained filter criterias. For instance, using building blocks, set a series of linked conditions required to lead to a particular action.

Let’s say “it is true” that they replied to your message. In that case, the automation sequence continues along the building block sequence, or stops. Also measure your success (reached, clicked, opened, replied, and converted rates).

Drawbacks ❌

To A/B test, you have to duplicate the entire campaign, rather than being able to quickly  alternate one variable.

The quality of your email leads can be suspect. No lead gen tool is a hundred percent accurate. This includes the Email Finderm which can rarely spit out the wrong email address.

Some people like the building blocks setup, while others find the drip campaign layout confusing to follow. You also can’t tell the campaign to run immediately when a contact is added to a list.

#7 Dux-Soup


Specifications:

  • Tracks Your Profile Visits
  • Auto CSV from Browsing
  • Simple Chrome Extension
  • Auto-Send Personalised Messages
  • Add Media to Messages
  • Use Notes & Tags

Pros:

  • Usable by Beginners
  • Free Forever Plan
  • Auto ‘Fair Use’ Limits

Cons:

  • Heavy Free Plan Limits
  • The UI is Clunky
  • Chrome Extension Slows Browsing

Dux Soup Logo

Our Verdict

3/5: Contains lots of time saving productivity tools, eg. anonymously automatically capture and compile (into a CSV file) prospects simply browsing your profiles.

Trial: 100 free emails/day (+ feature limits)

Starting: $11.25/mo

Best Features ✅

Just browse profiles that interest you: Dux-Soup automatically compiles into a CSV file, capturing names, numbers, companies, locations, professions and so on. Download a simple Chrome extension with a single click and you’re good to go – a ‘fair use’ limiter prevents any user from exploiting LinkedIn (anti-spam).

Over 50K users use this tool. Automatically: view new prospects, endorse skills, follow select LinkedIn activities and send out personalized messages. Dux-Soup also works as a lead management system.

Dux-soup on how to creat business

Organize yourself by adding tags and specific notes to prospects – download details into CSV and XLXS, in order to parcel out management to your CRM of choice.

Set drip campaigns for the first/second/third connections or even longer. This frees you up to focus only on responsive prospects. See results in a visual dashboard, including: profile visits, new leads, connections accepted and overall conversion rates.

Drawbacks ❌

Quite a few tools and missing on the first premium tier: automatic follow-ups, longer drip delays, stopping sequences if a reply received, seeing profiles viewed, and key tracking metrics. Can’t rank this higher among LinkedIn automation tools.

The costs jump by 30 dollars monthly for those features, which are quite important features and effectively push Dux-Soup into a higher price point category.

Buying Guide


Safe Usage of LinkedIn Automation Tools

You may have read that using a third-party automation tool will lead to your account being banned, and LinkedIn does take pains to check the activities of its users.

But actually, these tools are used daily with great results. You shouldn’t, however, violate sensible daily limits (250 actions per day, no more than 1000 invitations).

Effective LinkedIn Automation Tools Must Mimic User Behavior

The smarter automation tool is, the more you’ll be able to control behaviors and set them with the guidelines above and avoid being flagged. Keep an eye on stop/go/pause options, maximum daily limit settings, and resource scheduling.

Business tips on Linkedin

That way, the tool increases your normal daily activities non suspiciously/pushily. For instance, it may be a bad idea to set the automation tool to run in the early hours of the morning every day.

Not All LinkedIn Automation Tools Are Created Equal

Relatively, tools in this list are limited to a greater or lesser degree. Crystal, for instance, is focused on a specific function (optimal communication styles). While high-end tools like LeadFuze give you a wide range of advanced tools that salespeople, marketers and recruiters need.

LinkedIn Helper delivers the best value for small businesses and individuals: quality leads + impressive targeting, campaigning and automations.

Bonus Features & Tools

Auto Mailing System

Send direct, personalized messages to connections through Linkedin/Sales Navigator.

Position details (such as position, company and name) into specific areas of the message broadcast. But be wary of automatically endorsing strangers, as this screams of using an automation tool.

Autoresponder

LinkedIn doesn’t natively allow you to automatically respond to messages received on LinkedIn Message. They do offer Quick Replies, so having LinkedIn automation tools allows you to make things much more personalized.

Targeting efectivly Audiences on Linkedin

For example, you might thank them for connecting, and mention something that would be valuable to them based on the sort of prospects you are targeting and what you have going on now.

Boost Your Profile and Get Hundreds of Endorsements

In the manner of sharing engagement for engagement (thus increasing your endorsements), there are a great range of options, from auto following, to auto adding likes/comments.

Make sure that you’re comfortable giving endorsements to strangers, as not everybody will be comfortable with this – while others will be reciprocal.

Send hundreds of connection requests automatically using custom fields like the prospect’s name, which can scale up your business while saving a ton of manual labor. As you mentioned earlier, you went to set timeout without periods of inactivity randomly or at the very least daily limits, in order to protect your account.

Linkedin Automation Tools – How Do They Work?


How Does Automation Work on LinkedIn (Bannable?)

What is LinkedIn automation? … These tools ‘outsource’ certain tasks and actions to an automatic program. To avoid bans, start with a small number of messaging and connection requests. Gradually increase, though still no more than a thousand at any one time (250 actions/day).

Linkedin automation

Generating Leads and Setting up Personalized Approaches

#1: Search for ‘best practice’ templates – maybe one you’ve received (and rewrite in your own way)… Use a person’s name once when ‘cold calling’. “You” is preferable after that – personalizing but not overly familiar.

#2 Target based on well thought-out strategy, pay attention to: geography, income, profession, companies worked for, and field of study/work, etc.

#3 Finding places of mutual goals or pain-points you can solve, which will naturally appeal to a business person. The challenge is knowing what the sort of prospect you’re targeting considers to be valuable.

FAQ


What Is LinkedIn Automation?

Programs that automatically handle actions, tasks and even email marketing. This ranges from monotonous tasks like reaching out to new contacts… For instance, Linked Helper can be used to automate messaging of new connections.

How do you automate on LinkedIn? … Rather than manually typing out hundreds of messages a day, with the name of your prospect, these tools automatically add that custom field in per profile.

Each works slightly differently. Pin a message signature to the end of the outreach, to personalize further, overall needing minimum effort to increase your bulk engagements.

Linkedin Automation example

This Is Where More Sophisticated Options Come In

LinkedIn automation tools automatically endorse and place your connections into segmented email lists. Run an email marketing campaign that begins by sending an automatic followup when you make a connection request or receive one – plus, see analytics and alternate your approach with A/B tests.

Can You Send Automated Messages on LinkedIn?

Yes, but avoid overuse of automations, so you do not appear to be a bot or spammer. LinkedIn even has its own native app (Lead Gen Forms) that automatically gathers engagement data from Sponsored Content.

Prospect.io is not particularly integrated into LinkedIn, but working around this is easy even for a non-technical person. While Linked Helper can be easily integrated, such as by using a Chrome extension.

Linkedin Message Requests

Send messages to InMail. The most sophisticated tools in this list have very detailed drip-campaign options, such as only messaging on certain days/certain times of the day, as well as setting specific delays between communications, or canceling auto communications altogether if you receive a first reply.

What Are Sales Automation Tools?

A sales automation tool allows the entire sales process to be standardized and largely automated, from prospecting to closing the sale. In this guide, LeadFuze has the most comprehensive sales and marketing features.

Almost all of the tools in this list automate email campaigns to some degree or the other, as well as free trials for you to test out how much power you need in order to increase your conversion rates.

Conclusion


LinkedIn automation tools may represent the future of business networking; for starters, tapping into the largest business network in the world.

Prospect.io offers the longest money back guarantee, while Linked Helper the best bang for buck (both doubling as email marketing systems). LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms take advantage of Sponsored content, so that you can quickly capture people interested in what you have to offer.

Leonard (now ‘MeetAlfred’) is the cheapest Linkedin automation software for avoiding the need for face-to-face networking events or cold calling. All of this is automated in your sleep.

Our view? … Unless you’re a medium+ sized business (and other than Crystal, which has limited functions), it’s the user not the tool: the trick is to ensure your content is regarded as high-value by your prospects, which means taking time to refine your targeting options and personalizing your message in-step with this.

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